When it comes to bathing babies, new moms are full of questions such as –
“How did the midwife say to wash my baby?”
“Exactly how much shampoo do I need to use?”
“How can I get my baby to stop crying in the bath?”
Bathing your new can certainly be intimidating. Babies are wiggly and slippery, and getting the bath water to just the right temperature can be tricky. Babies — especially newborns — often love their bath time! There are also fewer things in life more delicious than a freshly bathed newborn. We’ve gathered five natural essentials & tips for bathing newborns that will help make bathtime both easier and safer.
1. Keep them relaxed and happy with a warm washcloth
Even if you’ve filled the bathwater to the right temperature, babies are sometimes still unhappy in the bath. Tip: check the bath water with your elbow instead of your hand to make sure the temperature is safe. For even more accuracy, consider a Spout Cover that serves as a thermometer. To help your baby relax and cease the crying, simply dip one washcloth into the bathwater until soaked, then lay it gently on your baby’s chest.
The extra layer of warmth is comforting and instantly relaxes even the fussiest baby. Just remember to keep pouring warm bath water over the washcloth from time to time — you don’t want it to get too cold!
2. Wash baby toe-to-head, not head-to-toe
When we hop in the shower or bath, we usually let the warm water run over our hair first. With newborn babies, it should be the opposite! If you bathe their heads first, they can get quite cold and uncomfortable while you wash the rest of their body. While holding your baby in the bath, wash their entire body first, saving their head for last. If the bath water is particularly cool when you get to this point, you can always lift baby out of the bath and wrap him or her in a fresh towel. Then, cradling baby with one hand over the edge of a bath or sink, you can gently wash their hair with warm water while their body stays nice and warm in the towel.
3. Use products with lavender to encourage a peaceful night’s sleep
The gentle fragrance of lavender, especially in essential oil form, is excellent for helping us relax and sleep soundly.
When bathing your newborn, choose soothing and natural products like Baja Baby. Not only are they completely free of chemicals such as parabens, sulfates, and phosphates, but they smell incredible. The soothing lavender fragrance will help your newborn wind down and can even help promote a peaceful night’s sleep after bath time.
4. Use only a drop
Though we often use generous amounts of our favorite body wash when we’re in the tub, our new babies don’t need nearly as much. Their skin is so delicate and soft that it really doesn’t need a huge amount of product to get clean. Use a drop of any product — body wash, shampoo, conditioner — which is approximately the size of a nickel. If this isn’t enough for any reason, or if baby is particularly dirty, you can always add a touch more.
5. Wash gently instead of rubbing
That said, when washing your newborn baby, your technique is equally important. There’s no need to rub their skin vigorously to help get it clean — the warm water dissolves a lot of sweat and dirt by itself. Your natural products will take care of the rest, without drying out baby’s skin. Gently work any product into a light foam with some water and rub over your baby in gentle, circular motions.
Be sure to pay attention to the area around the umbilical cord! Though to you it might look unclean, it’s best to leave it as is. If you really want to clean around it, use the edge of a warm washcloth to lightly dab around the cord stump to remove any remaining dirt.
What do you think of our list of tips? Do you have one that you want to share? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!
A freelance copywriter and content strategist, Eden is also a crunchy, eco-mom to 4 healthy kids (under the age of 6!). When not busy writing, she loves getting her hands dirty by making her own yogurt, mixing homemade laundry detergent, or chasing her kids in the garden with a Super Soaker.